Among the Spirits of the Long-Ago People
The winner of the 2011 Thomas Moran Award for Painting, “Among the Spirits of the Long-Ago People” is a magnificent work. Terpning begins with a simple common premise; the grandeur of nature can be sacred. He relates that emotion not by creating a landscape painting, but by focusing on the reverence these men have for what they see. The petroglyphs show that this is an ancient understanding. These men knew it to be so in their time, just as we do today. Their silence, as they take in the wonder about them, is not unlike that of the collectors we saw view this work for the first time.
“Petroglyphs on rock formations indicate that the visitors are in a spiritual place,” describes Howard Terpning, “a place blessed by the long-ago people. Numerous locations like this exist throughout Montana and Wyoming, sometimes high on a mountain with a spectacular view of Mother Earth. For centuries, Indian people have made the journey to these sacred places to give thanks for their blessings and to pray for success in hunting and in battle. Today, they continue to visit these sacred places as their forebears did, leaving small pieces of trade cloth and handmade objects decorated with beads or feathers as gifts for the gods.”
21″w x 22″h Fine Art Print, 33″w x 35″h Fine Art Giclee Canvas